1 Tuesday, 12 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
10 Mr. Registrar. This 12 January 2010
11 all my wishes for a Happy New Year because we haven't had an opportunity
12 to meet since a year ago. So to all a very Happy New Year. I hope it
13 will bring to you all the satisfactions you may hope for. Besides,
14 concerning today's hearing we have to hear a protected witness - I will
15 not say his name - we will see this in the second part of the hearing.
16 As you know, from the point of view of timing, of schedule, the
17 Prosecution will have two hours for the direct and Mr. Seselj will have
18 two hours for the cross-examination. We have, therefore, provided for
19 two days of hearings for this witness, today and tomorrow. Sometimes
20 experience has shown that there are objections, problems, issues. I want
21 to accelerate as much as possible this hearing in order to start on
22 possible administrative and housekeeping matters. I know Mr. Seselj has
23 a few administrative matters to discuss, so you have the floor,
24 Mr. Seselj.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have five brief
1 procedural matters to deal with. The first question that I would like to
2 raise is the following. Last week I received a transcript from the OTP,
3 that is the third interview transcript of this witness who we are going
4 to hear today, and it's from December 2008. So please look at me, if
5 you'd like to cast a glance in my direction. Many of the pages of this
6 interview have been blacked out. This is the first time this kind of
7 thing has happened. I believe that this is totally untenable. I
8 addressed the Prosecution yesterday a few times. There were a few
9 matters I wanted to deal with. One issue was settled through
10 Mr. Marcussen's intervention; however, this problem was not dealt with,
11 it was not resolved. So I ask you to instruct the OTP to give me the
12 full transcript as soon as possible so that I could prepare for the
13 cross-examination tomorrow.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, you have the
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: I apologise for interrupting the accused, but I
17 think that at least for the time being we should keep this matter in
18 closed session. So I would like to ask that we redact this particular
19 portion of the transcript and there be no broadcast of this and we can
20 see later --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, all right. Yes, all
22 right. Well, we go to closed session because anyway I should --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, Mr. President, I think that
24 you should let me say what I think about that request made by the
25 Prosecutor. I did not even mention the code-name, let alone the name of
1 this witness. I just said one thing, that the interview is from December
2 2008. No one from the ranks of the public can understand who this is.
3 There is no reason whatsoever to move into closed session and to have
4 this deleted.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have to talk about points
6 which can be discussed only in closed session, so since I'm going to
7 answer you I'm asking the Registry to organise closed session.
8 [Private session]
11 Page 14824 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The second question I'd like to
10 deal with very briefly --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. We are in open session.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The second question I'd like to
13 deal with briefly is that I would like to notify the OTP that tomorrow
14 during my cross-examination or even today, if I start my
15 cross-examination, I will use the book authored by Mirzet Hamzic:
16 "Zvornik to Dayton
17 to be unprepared. You see that I dealt with this very briefly.
18 Thirdly, Mr. President, on behalf of the Trial Chamber at the
19 last Status Conference you gave your oral ruling that in the future you
20 make it incumbent upon me to provide the Registry with copies of the
21 books that I wish to publish if they -- so that they could check whether
22 they contain something that should not be published. I haven't received
23 this decision in writing yet. I've already told you that there are three
24 books that I have in print now and that they contain documents that are
25 accessible to the public. As soon as these books come out, I'm going to
1 provide the Judges with a set, the Registry with a set, and the OTP with
2 a set. In the meantime, they've come out. You know, these big books
3 could not have been prepared within one month's time. They were prepared
4 over a period of six months. I'm not going to mention the titles of
5 these books because they are of an offensive nature, some of them even
6 lascivious. Iain Bonomy, Kevin Parker, and O-Gon Kwon are the names of
7 the Judges that are contained in the titles of these books that is here
8 now, and I would like to ask you to instruct the usher to take these
9 copies from me and to hand them to you officially. Whoever does not
10 believe me can check what I've just said very easily.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
12 continues]... understand you, you have said three books.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My colleague tells me -- he
15 asks whether your books are already on CD-ROM so that we may do some
16 electric search on the -- for instance, the name of witnesses. Is --
17 technically speaking are your books already on an electronic means which
18 could help us to work faster?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as I know, no. Over these
20 seven years that I've been in prison, I don't know. Technology has
21 advanced and to tell you quite frankly, I don't know what the technology
22 involved is when books are prepared. However, I have the final product
23 here in my hands and that's what I can hand over to you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
25 continues]... therefore is take your book. It will be given to the
1 Registrar, who is here, who is here -- the Registry with all the means
2 they have, in particular translators, are going to peruse your book
3 written in B/C/S to see if there are any names of witnesses, after which
4 the Registry will tell us quickly whether there is any problem or not.
5 And if we are told that there is no problem, all right.
6 So, usher, please go and get these books and give them to the
7 court Registrar. My colleague Judge Harhoff, I think, would like to take
8 the floor.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
10 Mr. Seselj, would it be possible for you to ask your publisher to
11 provide us with the electronic version of the three books? I'm sure they
12 have it because that is normally an automatic part of the publishing and
13 printing process. So if you could make sure that the publisher sends the
14 books in electronic form to the Registry, then the whole issue of doing
15 the research electronically for possible confidential information can be
16 done very quickly and swiftly.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is possible that my publisher --
18 it is possible that my publisher intends to place the books on my
19 internet site. Maybe they've already done so, however I haven't received
20 any information about that yet. Perhaps I can ask if that is the format
21 that you may find appropriate. You see, the books are bound in a
22 computerised fashion, so perhaps it is possible to make a copy of all of
23 that for the Court. But I don't know how I can get my hands on that now.
24 I have no possibility of inviting my advisors to visit. Perhaps only
25 towards the end of February, even later, because as you know I pay for
1 the travel expenses and the trip of my legal advisors and everything else
2 for that matter.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, thanks, but you only have to ask your
4 publisher to send it to us. It's as simple as that.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can ask the publisher, but now
7 whether he is going to go by what I said, that's a different matter. I
8 mean, who obeys a convict who's been in prison for seven years, even
9 one's wife and children no longer obey him, let alone someone else.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
11 continues]... topic, Mr. Seselj. Another question?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since I've already referred to
13 these seven years of being a convict here at The Hague Tribunal, you know
14 that my status is actively still that of a detainees. I'm still a person
15 who is presumed innocent. Everyone is still duty-bound to consider me to
16 be an innocent person, including the Judges and the Prosecutors and to
17 treat me as such unless proven otherwise. Over these seven years I've
18 had a great many problems in my profession, in my active pursuit of
19 political life, and the Registry and the prison administration have
20 prevented me from contacting the outside world very staunchly. You know
21 that others were allowed to be provisionally released, go into politics,
22 et cetera.
23 But this is the first time that I have a very important reason to
24 ask the Trial Chamber, since on the 24th of January local elections are
25 being held in the municipality of Odzaci
1 very, very interested in the outcome of these elections. And therefore
2 I'm asking on the occasion of the local elections of Odzaci, I would like
3 to address the public via telephone in relation to these elections. I
4 don't mind that these conversations being listened in to, but I would
5 like to address the public and present my political views in relation to
6 the elections in Odzaci that are very important for me and for my
7 political party, the Serb Radical Party.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now I have understood the
9 problem. On the 24th of January there will be a local election in
10 Vojvodina which is important for you, and you are requesting the Chamber
11 to authorise you to speak to your constituents or the voters. And taking
12 into account the exceptional nature of this request, the Prosecution
13 should quickly let us know of its position in writing so that the Chamber
14 may decide on this request.
15 Mr. Marcussen, I think you got all the elements on page 8 and 9
16 of the transcript. So please give us in writing your position and then
17 the Chamber will rule before the 24th of January, of course giving you a
18 decision on this matter.
19 Other questions, Mr. Seselj?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please bear in mind that there is
21 silence two days before the elections, on the 22nd and the 23rd, so
22 Monday next week would be most suitable for me for this press conference.
23 Then the fifth question. I've raised it several times --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I forgot. So there's somebody
25 who should let us know his position in writing. I will also ask the
1 Registrar to let us have his own opinion, position, in particular on the
2 means, technical and otherwise the means, which may be provided for, for
3 this request. So the Registrar should in writing let us know what his
4 position is, and this at the latest on Friday. There. But I know that
5 the Registry of this Tribunal follows second by second anything which is
6 being said. I am convinced that your request has already been heard at
7 the highest level in the Registry.
8 Mr. Seselj.
9 And Mr. Marcussen, also, Friday for your own observations at the
11 Mr. Seselj.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The fifth question I would like to
13 raise is the following. You know that it's been more than a year now
14 that the Registry unilaterally suspended my co-operation with my legal
15 advisors Zoran Krasic and Slavko Jerkovic on the basis of the
16 confidentiality of our contacts, on the suspicion that these advisors of
17 mine exercised undue influence over witnesses. None of this has been
18 proven in the meantime and, as you suggested, I addressed the Registrar
19 to normalise their status as legal advisors. The Registrar turned me
20 down. Then I addressed the President of the Tribunal. The President and
21 his Deputy evaded that, and the President appointed Judge Mehmet Guney to
22 deal with the matter and he rejected my objection.
23 Now it is up to the Trial Chamber to decide whether my procedural
24 rights have been jeopardised and whether it is in the interests of
25 justice to normalise my co-operation with Zoran Krasic and
1 Slavko Jerkovic, my legal advisors, or not. I find the two irreplaceable
2 because they have been co-operating with me on this case for seven years
3 now. I do have other legal advisors too, but they do not have enough
4 time to go into all the minute details of the case and to gain the kind
5 of experience that Krasic and Jerkovic have.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
7 continues]... understood, you say, you are now verbally making this
8 request, motion. You have followed the procedure, which is to say first
9 of all you have asked the Registrar, who rejected your request; then you
10 seized the President and a decision was given by Judge Guney which
11 rejected your request; and thus far you are now asking the Chamber
12 following what was being said in a judgement in appeal recently.
13 Now we have your verbal motion in order to have Mr. Zoran Krasic
14 and Slavko Jerkovic in their status of privileged collaborators. And the
15 Chamber being seized of this request now, legally, of your verbal
16 decision [as interpreted], will give its decision possibly orally at the
17 next hearing.
18 Now all subjects having been discussed, we will take the blinds
19 down because there is a closed session phase for the witness. I will
20 therefore now ask the Registrar to bring the blinds down and the usher to
21 go and get the witness and we go into closed session.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 [Closed session]
11 Pages 14832-14847 redacted. Closed session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in public session.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Wait a minute.
1 Let's go back to closed session because I still have something to say.
2 Registrar, please, we go back to the closed session for a few
4 [Private session]
11 Page 14850 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
19 Examination by Mr. Marcussen:
20 Q. VS-037, I wanted initially to ask you some questions about some
21 procedural background for you being here today. Have you given a
22 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in December 2008?
23 A. I did give a statement after I was warned that I was a suspect
24 when I refused to give a statement, and then as a suspect I had to make a
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if I could get the assistance of the usher
2 I'd like to show the witness a statement.
3 And I would like to inform the Court that what I'm showing is
4 65 ter number 7510. And we should not be broadcasting this exhibit.
5 Q. VS-037, is this the statement that were taken from you in
6 December 2008?
7 A. Yes, that's what I was told, that as for these different
8 statements that I made in different institutions, we should try to
9 compile a single one with the right kind of content. But, yes, this is
10 true, yes.
11 Q. And it is your signature on the front page of the document and
12 it's -- have you put your initials on the -- at the bottom of the
13 different pages?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And is this statement correctly reflecting your recollection of
16 the events at the time?
17 A. Well, it is my statement. I said roughly what it was that I
18 remembered in relation to particular questions, and in that statement we
19 tried to compile a sort of summary of my previous statements.
20 Q. And this process and this summary of the statement correctly
21 reflects your recollection, although it is a summary; is that right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. The basis for my examination today will be a number of the issues
24 that are addressed in the statement. I'm not anticipating going much
25 outside of what is in there. So I just say this for your information
1 since we didn't meet before today.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like then to go briefly into private session,
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 14854 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, you have the
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you.
7 Q. I should ask if, Mr. 037, you are having your statement in front
8 of you that you put it to a side. Normally you should testify from your
9 memory, so if I could ask that you just place it aside and don't consult
10 it unless we specifically get to that.
11 A. Thank you, sir. Thank you.
12 Q. Could you tell the Chamber what did you do from 1989 to 1991?
13 A. At the time I worked as a commercial director in a private
14 company at Zvornik.
15 Q. And did you come to hold a position in Zvornik at some point in
17 A. Yes, from July or August 1991 I was the commander of the SJB in
18 Zvornik based on the decision signed by the then-minister,
19 Mr. Delimustafic.
20 Q. And until when did you hold that position?
21 A. I remained in that position until the 16th of April, 1992
22 Q. What did you do after that?
23 A. After that I was appointed director of a haulage company by the
24 name of Autotransport in Zvornik.
25 Q. Were you ever a member of the SDS?
1 A. Yes, from 1991.
2 Q. Do you remember when in 1991?
3 A. I don't remember exactly, from spring 1991.
4 Q. And did you hold any positions in the SDS in Zvornik?
5 A. For a brief period I was vice-president of the SDS, of the
6 municipal committee of Zvornik. That was my position in the hierarchy.
7 Q. And were you also a member of the municipal Main Board of the SDS
8 in Zvornik?
9 A. Yes. It was automatic that a man in my position was a member of
10 the municipal committee also.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in order for us Judges
12 to fully understand what you're saying, we would like to know who was
13 president of the SDS.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The president of the SDS, the
15 municipal committee of Zvornik, was Branko Grujic.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In Zvornik, very well. And
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The president of the SDS for the
19 Republika Srpska was Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is it the same Karadzic as the
21 one that is in the detention centre at the moment?
22 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues]...
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, very well.
24 Mr. Marcussen.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN:
1 Q. VS-037, turning to 1991, maybe the second half of 1991, could you
2 tell the Trial Chamber what the aim of the SDS was with respect to Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina
4 A. With regard to the historic experience of the area, the goal was
5 to preserve the Serbian population because we had bad experience from
6 history. And the easiest way of achieving that was by preserving
8 country, and it is logical that the upper-most goal of the SDS was the
9 preservation of Yugoslavia
10 Q. And if that could not be achieved, what did the SDS want?
11 A. The SDS followed the situation and monitored what other parties
12 were doing, mostly ethnic parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And we thought
13 that we must preserve Yugoslavia
14 which all Serbs could live in one country, in one territory.
15 Q. If Yugoslavia
17 MR. TOMIC: [Interpretation] Objection. I have an objection.
18 Could the Prosecutor kindly bear in mind that my client is a low-level
19 party member in a small municipality. Ask him questions -- asking
20 questions about high-level politics is inappropriate. The high-level
21 policy of the SDS has nothing to do with my client.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you heard your
23 counsel. He said that you were a low-level party member and you're not
24 able to answer any questions regarding party politics, but I believe that
25 you wanted to answer. Please answer.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can speak from the level at which
2 I was. I know that in Zvornik we organised a forum at which we tried to
3 come to terms with the Muslim organisation which was led by
4 Mr. Zulfikar Pasic at the time. Slovenia
5 in Croatia
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, counsel for the witness can
7 certainly advise the witness if he is about to incriminate himself, but
8 here we are seeking to establish things that are not incriminating for
9 the witness and I would like to explore these issues some more, and I
10 think maybe we need to reiterate [overlapping speakers] --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go on. Go on. The
12 question was not self-incriminatory and the witness answered perfectly.
13 He said all he wanted was to maintain Yugoslavia as it was earlier -- at
14 least that's what we understood.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: If we could show Exhibit -- 65 ter 1298, please.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Sorry, I need to have a redaction of that.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we need to
19 redact. Mr. Marcussen unfortunately made a little mistake, a small
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, since Mr. Marcussen is
22 not concentrated enough, possibly Ms. Biersay should take over the
23 interview. He is likely to repeat this mistake. He isn't focused
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let Mr. Marcussen
1 do his job; it's in everybody's interest.
2 Mr. Marcussen, please continue and don't be destabilised by all
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: No, I think we are used to these sort of things
6 Q. VS-037, on the document in front of you there is in the left-hand
7 column something numbered number 386; do you recognise this? And I think
8 it's being enlarged for you now.
9 A. I'm familiar with this. I read this in the Official Gazette, and
10 in the newspapers these are the strategic objectives of the Serbian
11 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina which were adopted in May 1992 at the
13 Q. Does that reflect the aims of the SDS to your knowledge?
14 A. Well, the aims changed during the war. This is 1992. The war
15 had already started, so the circumstances had changed. The SDS had as
16 its goal to preserve Yugoslavia
17 changed on the battle-field, in politics, and international relations,
18 the leadership of the republic also adapted and changed its objectives.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a remark, but I promise I
20 won't have too many. I demand that the OTP give us a transcript of this
21 session of the 12th of May where these objectives were allegedly adopted,
22 because according to the information I have this was -- this never
23 happened. Because you allegedly have the transcripts of all sessions, so
24 why don't you give us a session of this one too.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen -- but I believe
1 this question can be put during cross-examination. But you have a text
2 with a preamble stating that this was adopted during the session of
3 May 12th, 1992, but then Mr. Seselj is telling us that no session was
4 held on May 12th, 1992
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: I will have to verify whether or not we have that
6 specific one, but if the accused wants to raise these sort of issues he
7 should do it not during the examination of a witness but at an
8 appropriate time.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I told him to do so.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN:
11 Q. VS-037, was it the aim of the SDS to establish de facto authority
12 over the areas where Serbs lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina in case
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina could not remain part of Yugoslavia?
14 A. No, that was never an objective of the SDS as far as I know, in
15 the context which you outlined.
16 Q. In what context was the objective?
17 A. Well, things changed. In my early days at the SDS, then we spoke
18 about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the establishment of
19 democracy -- multi-party democracy; then the following issue was
21 already left and Croatia
22 deteriorated so that the Muslims organised an election about a secession
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Yugoslavia
24 how to deal with that at local levels, to preserve the population.
25 Because the Serbs at the time, or 99 per cent of us at least, didn't go
1 to that referendum or -- and vote there. Because as far as I understood,
2 the SDS policy was for us to stay on the territories where we lived,
3 respect everybody else, but preserve Yugoslavia as our home country.
4 Q. And maybe you could just tell the Court briefly when were those
6 A. I believe that the elections were held in late March in 1992.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there's something I
8 don't understand and I'm sure you will be able to shed some light on
9 this. You're saying that the SDS's objective, as far as you were
10 concerned, as far as you know, was to maintain Yugoslavia as it was; and
11 that given that, all nations would live together, Croats, Serbs, and
12 Muslims. I understand that. This is actually part of the constitution
13 of the former Yugoslavia
14 screen says the following in paragraph 1:
15 "Establish state borders separating the Serbian people from the
16 other two ethnic communities."
17 I can't reconcile this. I understand what you say, but I don't
18 understand what is written on this document because it seems to
19 contradict what you're saying. Here on this document it seems that there
20 is a deliberate wish to separate all communities. Can you shed some
21 light on this?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our reaction to the referendum
23 organised by the Muslims was a similar vote for the Serbs on whether they
24 want to remain in Yugoslavia
25 and voted for, and I must say that a significant number of Muslims also
1 voted there and voted for, in favour. And there was a forum at which
2 Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Zulfikar Pasic met, and it was attended by 5.000 or
3 6.000 people. And then it was decided that Alija Izetbegovic become
4 president of Yugoslavia
6 not accepted for various reasons.
7 And the way I understand this first item to mean, the one you
8 mentioned, Your Honour, is that all those who wish to stay in Yugoslavia
9 and respect its laws can remain in Zvornik; and who doesn't want that can
10 go where they want to go. That's what I read in the papers, but I wasn't
11 there so I'm not sure how this decision was taken. Because this decision
12 was taken once the war started and once there was a line between the
13 Serbs -- the Serb-controlled territories and other territories. In May
14 it was clear which territories were controlled by Serbs, Muslims, and
15 Croats respectively. So in this part, the Serbian part, we recognised
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Mr. Marcussen.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN:
20 Q. What was the ethnic composition of Zvornik?
21 A. In the Zvornik municipality -- which year are you referring to?
22 Q. 1991.
23 A. The ethnic composition changed. In the 1960s the Serbs were the
24 majority, but according to the last census in 1991 the composition was
25 about 60 per cent Muslims, 38 per cent Serbs, and 2 per cent of others,
1 and these others mostly called themselves Yugoslavs.
2 Q. Did Zvornik have a particular strategic significance if a Serb
3 area was to be created in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
4 A. Every town has a certain significance, but Zvornik certainly had
5 a strategic significance due to the fact that the municipality is on the
6 border with Serbia
7 municipality, and there was some power-plants and there was also a
8 railroad line linking Serbia
9 a strategic importance.
10 Q. Would it be fair to say that Zvornik therefore also was of
11 strategic significance as a link between Serbia and Serb-dominated areas
12 further into the west of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. Once the war broke out and the confrontation began, each side
14 wanted a compact territory, and the Serbian side too, for logistic
15 reasons, to facilitate supplies and -- yes, Zvornik did have a strategic
16 importance for the Republika Srpska.
17 Q. In December 1991 did you participate in a meeting at the
18 Holiday Inn in Sarajevo
19 A. Yes, I attended that meeting in 1991. The entire leadership was
20 invited, the Serb leadership, that is people who were in the joint
21 organs, state organs, member of the SDA, the HDZ, and the SDS, and I also
22 went to that meeting which took place at the Holiday Inn.
23 Q. How many participants were there in the meeting?
24 A. Practically the whole Executive Board of the SDS and the Serb
25 Members of Parliament and the BiH Assembly, all the ministers and their
1 deputy ministers, as well as municipal presidents, people in high party
2 positions, people from the MUP and the Ministry of Defence. I believe
3 that there were about 400 or 500 of us.
4 Q. And these people from high positions, were they members of the
6 A. I didn't take part in the organisation of that meeting, but I
7 think that most of them were from the SDS because I saw some MPs who were
8 of Serb ethnicity but they were not SDS members. However, I believe that
9 the majority were SDS members.
10 Q. And you mentioned the SDS leadership. Was Radovan Karadzic
12 A. Yes. He gave a speech among others, yes.
13 Q. Biljana Plavsic, was she there?
14 A. Yes, Mrs. Plavsic was there too.
15 Q. Momcilo Krajisnik?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Milorad Ekmecic?
18 A. I remember him. I think that he also addressed those present.
19 Q. Could you tell us about the speech that Radovan Karadzic gave,
20 and in particular I wondered whether or not he stated anything about the
21 SDS positions on what would happen if there was going to be a war in
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 A. Much time has elapsed, so I don't remember everything he said.
24 But I know that he acquainted us with the political situation in BiH. He
25 knew that the Muslims and Croats were in agreement and they were in
1 favour of a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina. But our position was that we
2 wanted to preserve Yugoslavia
3 cannot live together in Yugoslavia
4 in Bosnia
5 ambassador to Yugoslavia
6 a single Yugoslavia
7 President Milosevic. And we also had the support of the Serbian people
8 to preserve Yugoslavia
9 Q. Did Mr. Karadzic mention that he had been in contact with the
11 A. There was no secret there. The SDS's policy even then was -- as
12 he said that one of the means for us to survive in these territories was
13 to join the army. And most Croats and Muslims who for a while before
14 that, for about a year, did not respond to calls for mandatory military
15 service. And so their argument was that the ethnic composition of the
16 JNA had been changed and that the JNA had practically become a Serb army.
17 Q. VS-037, I'd like to show you another document. It is 65 ter
18 number 836. That should come up on the screen as well very shortly.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: And while we wait for that document to come up,
20 I'd like to tender 1298, 65 ter 1298, that I showed to the witness before
21 and forgot to tender.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have a
23 number for document 1298.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit P870.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN:
1 Q. VS-037, we have the B/C/S version of the document that I'm
2 talking about on the screen and now we have both versions. We can look
3 more at it, but maybe I can simply ask you this: Are you familiar with
4 this document just from looking at what you have in front of you now?
5 A. Well, I saw this document a day or two after my return from
7 instructions issued by the Executive Board of the SDS about the
8 organisation of the Serb people in extraordinary circumstances.
9 According to that plan, the Municipal Board of the SDS had some tasks.
10 Q. And as far as you know, was this document distributed to other
11 Serb municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
12 A. Yes, I think that that was publicly known, that it was submitted
13 to all Municipal Boards of the Serb Democratic Party that functioned at
14 the time in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. And just -- is this document the one that is often referred to as
16 Variant A and B or plan A and B, are you familiar with that, just so we
17 have a shorthand version of how to refer to the document?
18 A. Well, in the instructions, when you look at them, the Main Board
19 of the SDS, the creator of the document, had two ideas. There were parts
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina where Serbs were in absolute power, others where
21 they were a minority, and yet others were they were in power with the
22 other political parties. So there was plan A and plan B. Plan A
23 envisaged what to do in municipalities and environments where the Serb
24 people and the Serb Democratic Party had a majority and power. Plan B
25 was roughly for municipalities and settings where Serbs were not in
1 power, where they were a minority.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, in --
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like to tender this exhibit before I forget
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, number for this
6 document, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P871.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN:
9 Q. VS-037, were steps taken to implement this -- these instructions
10 in Zvornik municipality?
11 A. Well, we as the Municipal Board understood that this was an
12 assignment that had come from a higher level of authority. We read the
13 plan. Since we are the municipality of Zvornik
14 plan. I cannot remember now exactly what it had envisaged, but we
15 started discussing it point by point in order to see what we could
16 implement on the ground.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: And I'd like now to show the witness 65 ter
18 number 851, please.
19 Q. VS-037, are you familiar with this document?
20 A. Yes, yes, I am.
21 Q. Could you tell the Court, was this document, this decision, was
22 that one that was taken pursuant to the previous instructions that we
23 just talked about?
24 A. Yes, yes. This is linked to the instructions looked at
25 previously and we adopted certain conclusions in this context.
1 Q. And if we look at some of the names listed here, we can see that
2 a Crisis Staff was elected. And could you tell us who Branko Grujic was.
3 And for starts, was he a member of the SDS; and if so, what position did
4 he have?
5 A. Yes. I've already said that Branko Grujic was president of the
6 SDS according to these instructions coming from a higher authority. He
7 was automatically supposed to hold the position of commander of the
8 territorial staff, the Crisis Staff. They were -- and that staff was
9 supposed to follow the situation as it developed. They were in a small
10 room and the next-door office which was just divided by a thin partition
11 was the office of the SDA. And in the evening they'd watch television
12 together. This was in the so-called Russian building. To this day it's
13 called the Russian building in Zvornik. Everybody knows about it. And
14 the SDA and SDS offices were right next to each other. We were on duty
15 in our office and then we'd sit together with them, have coffee,
16 et cetera.
17 Q. And as commander of the Crisis Staff, did Branko Grujic have
18 contacts with the SDS leadership in Sarajevo and Pale?
19 A. Well, I have to admit that Branko Grujic had little to do with
20 the headquarters in Sarajevo
21 who was a member of the Assembly in Sarajevo, and he was often supposed
22 to be there and he had more contacts with the leadership. It was
23 Mr. Jovo Mijatovic, who at the time was an MP. And he was the one who
24 had more contacts with the leadership and ex officio, as an MP, he was a
25 member of the Main Board at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He had more
1 contact with the headquarters in Sarajevo
2 Q. Could you describe his relationship to Radovan Karadzic and
3 Momcilo Mandic -- sorry, what am I saying - Momcilo Krajisnik?
4 A. Well, I really don't know what kind of relationships they had,
5 but I think he was a lot closer to Krajisnik because the MPs gathered in
6 the Assembly with Krajisnik -- but this is just sheer guess-work. I know
7 very little about this.
8 Q. From the -- from what you know, from the impression you had at
9 the time, was he somehow Krajisnik's confidant or somehow informed him
10 about -- kept him informed about what was going on in Zvornik?
11 A. Well, I really cannot speculate now. He had authority as an MP
12 and he did enjoy trust, but what their relationship was I don't know. I
13 know that during the war Jovo was an even higher official. I can't
14 remember exactly what his position was, I don't want to make a mistake,
15 but he certainly did enjoy an enviable level of authority as an MP.
16 Q. Was it your impression that the SDS leadership was kept informed
17 about developments in Zvornik by him?
18 A. Yes. We informed the higher level of authority to the effect
19 that we had acted on orders -- I mean, if we can call it orders. It was
20 a set of instructions from a higher political organ such as the Main
21 Board was at the level of the republic, and other municipalities
22 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina acted on that basis.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: And I'd like now to show the witness Exhibit 65
24 ter -- no, before I do that, I would like to tender the exhibit that has
25 just -- that I've just shown which is 851.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, a number, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, Exhibit P872.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: And then I'd like to show 65 ter 871.
4 Q. VS-037, I don't know if you can see this, but otherwise if we can
5 zoom in on the right-hand page in the B/C/S version. Now this document
6 is in its introduction in the beginning referring to a decision on the
7 19th of December, 1991. Is that -- is that the decision or is that a
8 decision that was taken at the hotel Holiday Inn that we talked about
9 earlier? So this is also a decision in implementation -- sorry, a
10 decision implementing these instructions?
11 A. Well, of course this was not adopted at the Holiday Inn. This is
12 a municipal decision. It was made on the premises of the Serb Democratic
13 Party, roughly on the basis of this instruction to set up the Serbian
14 municipality of Zvornik, and also at our initiative --
15 Q. Thank you --
16 A. -- because we had this problem there.
17 Q. Sorry. Yeah -- no, my question was unclear. My question was
18 whether it was an implementation of the instructions. So thank you for
19 helping clarifying that.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like to tender this exhibit, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A number, please,
22 Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P873.
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: And then I'd like to show yet another 65 ter
25 number at this time, 1015. And if we could zoom in, this time on the
1 left page.
2 Q. VS-037, are you familiar with this document?
3 A. Yes, yes, but this is from the 15th of March, 1992.
4 Q. Yes, but was this adopted by the Serb municipality in Zvornik?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this into
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please give a number,
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P874.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have read this document with
12 a lot of interest. One discovers that one has some property. It can
13 only be sold to a Serbian. Do you find this normal or not?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see where that is written
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Look at paragraph number 1, and
17 you see agricultural land, buildings, and so on.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Yes, yes, of course,
19 this is not a normal thing. It's discrimination, but believe me the
20 other side and the third side as well -- well, you know, at that time
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina already had this referendum on separation, then
22 everybody adopted such nebulous things, this being one of them.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, very well.
24 Mr. Marcussen.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN:
1 Q. VS-037, are you familiar with a gentleman called Zoran Subotic?
2 A. No. Jovan Subotic?
3 Q. Zoran Subotic?
4 A. Yes, Zoran Subotic I've known for years, yes.
5 Q. Did he at some point hold a position in the Crisis Staff in
7 A. Yes, at the very beginning of the conflict in Zvornik I know that
8 he was mobilised by the JNA and that he held the position for about 20
9 years or so in the TO staff.
10 Q. Was he a member of a political party?
11 A. Well, later on I found out when he became an official in the
12 government that he was a member of the Serb Radical Party, but it was
13 only years later perhaps that I found out.
14 Q. Do you know whether he ever held a position in the government in
16 A. Well, I think that it was only for a short period of time. I
17 think it was the only time that the Radicals took part in the government,
18 when then there was the Kosovo problem. I think that he was deputy
19 minister in one of the ministries, but I don't know which one.
20 Q. Could it be vice minister for works and social policies?
21 A. Probably. I'm not sure, but possibly it could have been
22 something like that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we are now getting to
24 a particularly interesting subject because it concerns the accused. You
25 were a member of the SDS and there are other parties, in particular
1 Radical Serb Party. For you, what was -- what represented the Serbian
2 Radical Party?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, we often put that
4 question to the leadership of the SDS. Why was he in contact with
5 Milosevic at the time who, after all, advocated some ideas that were
6 communist ideas in terms of continuing with the regime? Why was there
7 not contact with other parties that were more democratic than the regime?
8 However, we contacted those who could help us. That was -- it was only
9 the SPS that was in government then, and relationship between the SPS and
10 the Radicals was terrible at the time. We went to see them in Loznica
11 and elsewhere. We held these meetings with them and they warned us and
12 they had strings attached to it as well, that we should not have contacts
13 with opposition parties because this parliamentary life in Serbia
14 multi-party system in Serbia
15 contacted with the SPS and the Radicals and others like Vuk Draskovic
16 from the SPO and the others, the Serb Renewal Movement, et cetera. So we
17 didn't really have contact with them and we were even under the
18 surveillance of the SPS, that we should not have contact with them.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that
20 inadvertently you have confused the witness. Perhaps the key question
21 would be whether the Serb Radical Party existed at all at that time in
22 Zvornik. In Zvornik it was established only in 1993. That is important,
23 you know, the witness should not be confused.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness, when I asked you
25 this question I hadn't taken in account of chronology, but when you were
1 yourself belonging to your own party, the SDS, in the municipality of
2 Zvornik, at that particular moment in the municipality of Zvornik
3 radical -- the Serbian party exist; in Zvornik, did it exist?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it didn't exist in the
5 municipality in Zvornik at all or in Bosnia-Herzegovina as such.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it did not exist. Very
7 well. Indeed this has escaped me because this question has already been
8 asked from this witness and I didn't remember it, but at the time when
9 you were in Zvornik you know about the existence of the Serb Radical
10 Party or you know nothing about them?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were a party that was
12 just being established, and I knew of course from the media that there
13 was a Serb Radical Party. And once I was in Mali Zvornik when Mr. Seselj
14 held a rally. I was there because I lived in Mali Zvornik at the time, I
15 had a house there.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. And could you tell
17 us at what -- on what day was this speech given where Mr. Seselj was
18 present? What was the precise date on this speech?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would be hard for me to
20 remember, but I know that I wasn't working with the police yet. I was
21 still a civilian. So it was before July 1991. That's the only thing can
22 I say, but I don't know the exact date.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you went to listen to him
24 for what reason?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was interesting. For a
1 politician who criticised the government at the time was coming.
2 Because, you know, after all we lived in communism for a long time, where
3 you didn't dare say anything against the powers that be. So for young
4 people this was an interesting thing to go and hear what this was all
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand that, but in July
7 1991 did Mr. Seselj, according to you, criticise the power -- yes, did he
8 criticise Slobodan Milosevic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, the powers that be at the
10 time before July 1991 because I joined the police in 1991 in July, and I
11 know that at that time I went as a civilian to that rally to hear what
12 this was all about.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm asking this question
14 because for the Prosecution, for the Prosecution, Mr. Seselj and
15 Mr. Milosevic were a part of a same enterprise -- joint criminal
16 enterprise. And now you're telling us that you were in a meeting where
17 Mr. Seselj was criticising Mr. Milosevic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, among other things, he talked
19 about the history of the Serbs and -- well, I don't know exactly. But
20 most of it was criticism of the current government and also doing away
21 with communism. So that would be it. That's what it was mostly about.
22 I know because he had his picture taken with a neighbour of mine, a
23 Muslim, who was there at that rally, Sakib, I can't remember his last
24 name, and I found that to be of interest. I think it was published in a
25 newspaper afterwards.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The photograph, who was in it,
2 Mr. Seselj and the Muslim or the Muslim and yourself?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, this neighbour of mine who
4 was a Muslim. I think that he was one of the very few -- well, I don't
5 know exactly. I mean, it was interesting and perhaps that's why one of
6 the local newspapers carried that, a Muslim who attended the rally of the
7 Serb Radical Party at the time, because everything that had this ethnic
8 national element at the time was considered -- well --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Then excuse me for having
10 interrupted you, but the participation of the witness at a meeting
11 Mr. Seselj could be interesting -- could have been interesting.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the witness is here to answer
13 questions for the Court to decide the case, so I have no -- I appreciate
14 the Court's putting questions to the witness. I would, though, like if
15 this becomes an issue again that the Chamber warn the accused not to
16 interrupt when the witness is answering a question from the Bench. The
17 witness was just explaining how they contacted various groupings at this
18 point in time the accused intervened. It is most unfortunate that these
19 sorts of things happen. The accused can put his questions when the time
20 for cross-examination comes.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to intervene
22 because of these untruths that are presented by Mr. Marcussen. I
23 patiently waited for the witness to answer your question, and it was only
24 then that I voiced my objection. I think that my objection made it
25 easier to clarify certain matters. The witness is not supposed to be
1 confused on purpose or inadvertently. The witness has to be asked
2 questions that are as clear as possible so that his answers will be as
3 clear as possible. I patiently waited and then said what I had to say.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interest of all this is
5 everything to be clear.
6 Mr. Marcussen?
7 MR. MARCUSSEN:
8 Q. Would you describe Mr. Subotic's relationship to Mr. Seselj as
9 being close?
10 A. I don't know what their personal relationship was like, but I
11 assume that consent to his appointment in the ministry was given by the
12 leader of the party at the time, Mr. Seselj. That is my assumption.
13 Q. I turn to --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Marcussen has
15 asked you this question because in your statement you had said that they
16 were close. And the Prosecutor of course is trying to know what -- how
17 close they were. As for myself, I see that by your answer you didn't
18 know much about this. Those were just assumptions. You assumed that
19 Mr. Subotic was close to Mr. Seselj because both were in the same party,
20 belonged to the same party. But when one says that people are close, it
21 means there are close ties between them. What did you know of the
22 closeness of Mr. Subotic and Mr. Seselj? What do you know about that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember exactly. I have
24 given quite a few statements. Mr. Marcussen told me at the beginning
25 that I shouldn't be reading things, but relying on my own memory. I
1 really don't know about the nature of the relationship with Mr. Subotic.
2 Mr. Subotic I saw only about ten times in my life. Mr. Seselj I never
3 saw in person. I really don't know what the nature of their relationship
4 was like. I can only assume that Subotic, since he held such a high
5 position as a member of the government and this ministry, I guess that
6 they're close, but I really don't know. I have no direct knowledge about
7 any of this.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A brief objection. Mr. President,
9 from the transcript of the third interview of this witness from December
10 2008, you can see that the OTP had prepared this statement in advance and
11 they gave it to the witness to sign. The witness signed it. He probably
12 read it too; I'm not going into that. But the witness statement had been
13 prepared in advance. So the mode of interpretation is that of the OTP,
14 not the witness.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another question. It's not the
16 first time that the members of the Chamber have this problem. When you
17 met the Prosecutor in December 2008, this statement was already prepared
18 and the Prosecutor told you, You have to sign here. Was that the case or
19 did he have a conversation with you and he examined all paragraphs and
20 subjects and told you, "This is what you have said before, do you still
21 agree?" This is what you're going to say. According to your
22 recollections in December 2008, was all already prepared already or was
23 it done after a discussion in-depth with the Prosecution?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a joint analysis of these past
25 statements, we drafted a joint statement and I admit that I signed that
1 statement. But it was -- it must be reflected what I had said. And --
2 but we were in a hurry to catch a plane and so we had no time to go into
3 the details and analyse every word. But anyway, it was drafted in my
4 presence, the presence of the lawyer, and the OTP. But as I said, we
5 were in a hurry, so we signed it and I had no time to re-read it and go
6 into all the ramifications, the connotations of each word, et cetera.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we can see from this
10 transcript that the OTP informs the witness in December of 2008 that the
11 text of the statement was put together based on his testimony given at a
12 trial in The Hague
13 interviews. That's what the OTP let's us know in this statement. It was
14 drafted in advance. The witness agreed, but he is not a professional
15 politician so he needn't understand all the implications of that
16 statement. The OTP is cunning. They know what stands behind each word,
17 but no witness, if he is a common man, can understand that. But I was
18 really close to -- with Mr. Subotic, so we needn't dwell on that. He was
19 a member of the central homeland administration of the Serbian Radical
20 Party. So no need to discuss it any further.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move on.
22 Since Mr. Seselj recognised that Mr. Subotic was close to him.
23 Mr. Tomic.
24 MR. TOMIC: [Interpretation] For the sake of the truth, I must say
25 that it wasn't the way Mr. Seselj has just said. All the statements were
1 on the disk, all of them -- yes, we were in a hurry, but we did have --
2 we did have an opportunity to read them. And we drafted a common
3 statement. So that is the truth.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.
5 MR. TOMIC: [Interpretation] Nothing was prepared in advance.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: And at least for now we haven't solved the
7 admission of the statement so this is really just a red herring.
8 Your Honours, I was going to move into another topic, but I think
9 we are getting close to the break, so I can either begin something else
10 or we can have the break a few minutes early. I'm happy to do it either
11 way. I just wanted to seek guidance from Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know, we've
13 already used up an hour and a half. Time flies. So let's break till
14 5.30 and then we'll continue until 7.00 non-stop.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.12 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.37 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The court is back
18 in session.
19 Mr. Marcussen, you have used up 45 minutes so far. You have one
20 hour and 15 minutes left. In open session, I must say that the
21 Trial Chamber granted the following protective measures. This was said
22 earlier but it was said in closed session, and I believe that we have to
23 say it in open session also. So the protective measures granted are as
24 such: Non-disclosure of the witness's identity with the use of a
25 pseudonym and distortion of the face of the witness. Therefore, his face
1 was not disclosed. This was said in open session and it's now noted on
2 the transcript.
3 Mr. Marcussen, you have the floor.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, just in light of the accused's
5 request this morning, his fourth request to be allowed to address the
6 public, just in -- to allow the accused to take the necessary steps I
7 wanted to advise the Chamber that the Prosecution's position is that the
8 question of whether or not the accused can be allowed to contact anyone
9 outside the Detention Unit is regulated by the Registrar. So the general
10 principle is that the Trial Chamber may intervene in matters that are the
11 primary competence of the Registry only when the matters go to the
12 fairness of the trial. The accused would have to make a request
13 initially to the Registrar, and only if that request is denied is it
14 possible for him to seize the Trial Chamber. My understanding is he
15 hasn't yet made a request to the Registrar, so he would have to do that
17 And I would also advise the Trial Chamber that in the Karadzic
18 case it was found that these sort of issues do not affect the fairness of
19 the trial so that the Trial Chamber can intervene. I have some specific
20 jurisprudence on this, but I thought that maybe the Chamber wants to
21 direct the accused first to see what the Registrar's position is and then
22 the Prosecution can respond if necessary at that point in time. So just
23 to allow the necessary time for the accused to take these steps if
24 needed. I wanted to reiterate that before I continue.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your position is
1 now noted on the transcript and you can continue with your
3 MR. MARCUSSEN:
4 Q. VS-037, did the Serbs --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I say something prompted by
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On what topic?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] About what the Prosecutor has just
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to point out that the
12 Trial Chamber decided formally that Ramush Haradinaj has the right to be
13 active in politics. Even when he was allowed to go home to prepare for
14 trial. Radovan Karadzic could give interviews to the newspapers. I --
15 when I once spoke to journalists, that was a pretext to ban any contacts
16 with the outside world to me. That was in 2004, though. Only a few days
17 ago I learned about the local elections in Odzaci municipality. I cannot
18 contact the Registry because if I do that I'll receive an answer in six
19 weeks. Never has the Registrar urgently responded to any application of
21 If you think that I'm in a comfortable position here and that my
22 presumption of innocence is not jeopardised, then you needn't pass any
23 decision. But the question imposes itself and it's a question of
24 principle whether I can go about my professional business, whether --
25 during my detention when it has nothing to do with my trial here or
1 anything connected to it. If it's about my -- the possibility of my
2 influencing witnesses or the possibility that I might escape because
3 these are the reasons for detaining someone. And the third reason is
4 preventing me from repeating the crime committed. I have no intention to
5 run and I cannot influence witnesses, and I have no opportunity of
6 repeating my many crimes -- at least as the Prosecution alleges that I
7 committed so many crimes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your reply
9 regarding the Prosecutor's -- Prosecution is now -- the Prosecutor's
10 position is now on the transcript. And as I said, the Trial Chamber will
11 rule on this.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN:
13 Q. VS-037, did there some a time when the Serbs in Zvornik
14 municipality started to arm themselves?
15 A. Well, briefly, yes. If you want me to clarify the circumstances,
16 everybody started arming themselves. There were very few Croats in
17 Zvornik, but the Muslims were the majority population and we had
18 information that they were arming themselves so the Serbs were also
19 arming themselves.
11 Pages 14884-14894 redacted by court order.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. I'm going to consult my
11 colleagues first of all.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I give another objection?
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: May I --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: Let me in open session say the following. This
10 witness -- the evidence that has been given so far on this point is
11 consistent with what the witness has already said before and that is
12 known and has been disclosed to various relevant bodies. So I don't
13 think the witness has brought anything new up today which will
14 incriminate him. It's a different matter if the witness starts -- if
15 there's some additional information about this or some additional
16 incidents that the witness has been involved in that we have not heard
17 about before, that is a different matter. But -- and maybe we should
18 hear from the witness. My understanding was that the witness actually
19 wanted this to be said in -- these things to be said in public. But his
20 name obviously should not go out, and I can be more specific if we go
21 into closed session about what has been disclosed to who.
11 Pages 14897-14898 redacted by court order.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 14900-14902 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Mr. President, the special
12 operations unit of the State Security Service of the Republic of Serbia
13 is ready for inspection. Unit commander Colonel Milorad
14 Vukovic [as interpreted] reporting.
15 "Hello Lukovic.
16 "Members of the special operations unit, salute! Salute."
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Stop.
18 Q. VS-037, do you know who this person is?
19 A. The commander Milorad Lukovic, Legija. At the beginning of the
20 war he was in Zvornik.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the transcript has been showing
22 Vukovic, but the correct name according to the witness - and I have to
23 say according to our information - is that it's Lukovic with an L and
24 that it is Legija who has been discussed a number of times. If we can
25 continue. Sorry, and we stopped at 7 minutes and 13 seconds in this
2 [Video-clip played]
3 MR. MARCUSSEN:
4 Q. VS-037, we have stopped now at 7 minutes and 52 seconds. What we
5 actually see here is -- it's difficult when you stop a video to see
6 people clearly, but the two men walking next to each other in front, do
7 you know who they are?
8 A. One of them is President Slobodan Milosevic and the other is
9 Jovica Stanisic, the chief of the State Security Service of Serbia.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: Let's continue.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 MR. MARCUSSEN:
13 Q. VS-037, do you know who the person on this bust is?
14 A. Yes, it's the late Radoslav Kostic.
15 Q. And we are at 8 minutes and 38 seconds here where we stopped. Is
16 that the person that has been referred to today?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And do you know where this particular video has been shot?
19 A. I was there on one occasion, we brought some flowers. It's at
20 the training centre of the special units in Kula.
21 Q. Are these the forces that were known as the JSO and sometimes
22 referred to as the Red Berets?
23 A. Yes, their name changed several times, but they were called the
24 Red Berets, JSOs, special units of the MUP of Serbia, and other names.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I was going to show another excerpt
1 from this particular video, but in the interests of time I propose to
2 seek the admission of the video and the associated transcripts at this
3 point in time. I would like to show the witness some stills we have
4 prepared. Again, the quality is not great, but I think the witness is
5 familiar with a number of persons. So I would first seek the admission
6 of the video. It has, as I said, earlier been marked for identification.
7 The witness has now given evidence about this and can provide further
8 information, but maybe we can admit it at this stage --
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the date, Mr. Kostic
11 died in 1994. That's what we saw on the bust, so the video was shot in
12 the end of 1994, early 1995?
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: According to my information it was shot on the
14 5th of May, 1997. And Your Honours will see from a later speech that
15 appears by Franko Simatovic that he refers to the fact that we are three
16 years after the death of Mr. Kostic and he died in 1994, as can be seen
17 in the video.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection. How is this
19 video relevant? It was made in 1997. Kostic was killed in 1994 as a
20 volunteer in Western Bosnia, where Fikret Abdic was. What's the
21 connection with Zvornik? And there is no evidence that during his stay
22 in Zvornik Kostic was a member of the SDB of Serbia. He lived in Darda
23 then, and he was an official of the State Security Service of the
24 Republic of Serbian
25 you can do what you want.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, if --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber believes it's
3 relevant. We would like to have a number for this item.
4 Mr. Registrar, could we have a number for this video.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it is MFI P131.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: So it should now be --
7 THE REGISTRAR: It should now be -- it will now be Exhibit P131.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd ask if the usher would please call up 65 ter
9 number 7109A, like Alpha, and the first thing I'd like to show the
10 witness is page 3 of that exhibit.
11 Q. And VS-037, I believe you have had an opportunity, probably
12 several opportunities, to review this video. So I apologise. I'll be
13 showing you some pictures which are not necessarily that great, but I
14 hope you'll be able to assist the Court on identifying some of these
15 people. The -- my question about this picture is who is the gentleman
16 with the sunglasses standing behind Mr. Milosevic?
17 A. I know from the newspapers that the person is Frenki, a member of
18 the MUP.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The witness is now in
20 the position to recognise people who he has never encountered in person.
21 He knows only from the newspapers. I don't know what the OTP are doing
22 now. This would be relevant if I could be seen in one of these
23 photographs, and then it could be tendered; but like this?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The person with the
25 glasses is Frenki Simatovic. Is that it?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know it from the newspapers. I
2 never met these people, but of course I know Frenki from the newspapers.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: And actually --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: -- in the video he is being identified if one
6 looks at it, so I'm just trying to create a record which makes it a
7 little handle of -- easier for everyone to handle.
8 If we could now show page 4, please -- sorry, let's skip that. I
9 think we don't need this. This is Frenki again. Page 7.
10 Q. Well, you've already identified I believe the two men standing --
11 no, let's not even go into this either. Let's move to page 8. I
13 VS-037, do you recognise any of the people on this photograph or
15 A. I know some faces, but I'm not sure who is who, really.
16 Q. Okay. Let's look at page 9. I think we're still having page 8.
17 On this picture I think the gentleman with the red beret we have
18 already talked about. Do you recognise any of the others?
19 A. I'm not sure. One of them looks like Panko [phoen], Radoslav,
20 but I'm not sure who is who.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But we haven't even recognised the
22 person with the Red Beret. It was the Prosecutor who recognised him
23 instead of the witness and on the witness's behalf, but the persons are
24 so different in this still and in the video that I'm sure that the
25 witness wouldn't have recognised him.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, can you tell us who
2 this person with the Red Beret is?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure, believe me. It must
4 be a member of those units.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't know. Very well.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Could we then look at page 11, please.
7 Q. Do you recognise any of these gentlemen?
8 A. I think this is Milorad Vucelic to the far left, but...
9 Q. And who is he?
10 A. I think that he used to be the director of the radio television,
11 but he was in different positions. I don't know what he's doing now.
12 But for a while I know that he was a director of radio television of
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it would be good if
15 Mr. Marcussen could recognise this general for us because a general is a
16 general after all.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: It's completely inappropriate for the accused to
18 interrupt in this manner.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let Mr. Marcussen
20 do his job. He is trying to identify people, the person on the far right
21 and someone else, probably a general with a hat or cap.
22 Witness, who is the military person with the military hat, do you
23 know who it is, yes or no?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know, one of the
25 generals. I can see a general's insignia, but I don't know who he is.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't know. Fair enough.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Okay, I'd like to tender this particular page
3 from this exhibit. What I suggest we do is we give -- we'll remove all
4 the other pages so we're only left with page 11 and then we give this a
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You're tendering
7 only page 11 of this document --
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: My apologies, sorry. No. We need page 3 and
9 page 11. Those are the two pages where the witness identified someone.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 3 and 11.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, pages 3 --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honours. What are
13 we now tendering into evidence? The proof that the witness hasn't
14 identified anyone. Is Vucelic now important for identification? The
15 witness doesn't know who the uniformed person with a Red Beret is nor who
16 the general is nor who the person in the background is. The person has
17 only recognised Milorad Vucelic because he saw him often on television.
18 And how is that relevant now? And Frenki Simatovic was recognised based
19 on photographs in the newspapers, maybe after he was arrested and brought
20 to The Hague
21 newspapers. I also saw him for the first time here in Scheveningen. How
22 can this be tendered into evidence? I have been in trial in courtrooms
23 before, but maybe I'm too dumb.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a see. I've never seen
25 Mr. Simatovic, Mr. Frenki Simatovic. I have a picture of him, the
1 witness recognised him, that's one thing. The witness also recognised
2 Milorad Vucelic, the director of the television at the time. Fine.
3 What's the purpose of all this? Well, I believe that
4 Mr. Frenki Simatovic is mentioned as a member of the JCE, so there is
5 relevance here. Now, regarding the director of the television at the
6 time, there might be a relevance, we don't know. Pages 3 and 11 are
7 pages where the witness recognised people.
8 We need a number, Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that will be Exhibit P875.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN:
11 Q. VS-037, are you familiar with a person by the name of Pavlo
12 Markovic -- no, Marko Pavlovic? It's getting late.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When did you get to meet him the first time?
15 A. I met him in 1991 toward the end of the year in Slavonia,
17 Q. Did -- when you met of him did he refer to Rade Kostic; and if
18 so, how did he address him?
19 A. They knew each other because Rade Kostic was an official of the
20 MUP of the RSK, and he addressed him as boss or chief.
21 Q. And if we can briefly go into closed session.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's move to closed
24 [Private session]
11 Page 14911 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN:
4 Q. Are you familiar with a person with a name of Ratko Vidovic?
5 A. Yes. He worked for the MUP of Serbia at the time when I was also
6 with the BiH MUP.
7 Q. And where did he work?
8 A. Zvornik is divided by the Drina River
9 bank there is Mali Zvornik, on the left bank there is Zvornik, and he had
10 the same position as I on my side. He was the chief of police of Mali
12 Q. Did he have contacts with Marko Pavlovic?
13 A. In principle, I introduced them. He and Marko Pavlovic -- or
14 rather, Pavlovic was in Zvornik about a month before the confrontation
15 broke out so everybody knew him. So Ratko Vidovic also knew him and we
16 met several times.
17 Q. Did Vidovic at some point tell you why Pavlovic had come to
19 A. No, I don't think Vidovic knew that. Vidovic worked in public
20 security and I believe such information was not accessible to him.
21 Q. Do you know why Pavlovic had come to Zvornik?
22 A. I knew that because I was the first SDS member who established
23 contact with him. He came to help us should a crisis situation arise
24 because he already had such experience from Croatia. And the true
25 reasons were known to him and Kostic probably.
1 Q. Was Pavlovic from -- from what you could judge, was he also a
2 member of the Serbian State Security Service?
3 A. Believe me, nobody there knew what -- his role there. Only --
4 the only thing we knew was that he had excellent relations with Kostic
5 and people from the state security, and even better relations with people
6 from the military and the JNA officers from whom we procured weapons to
7 arm the members of the SDS. And they were actually -- they actually had
8 the status of reserve JNA troops, but they were practically exclusively
10 Q. And in your statement from 2008 it says in paragraph 44:
11 "Vidovic told me that Pavlovic had been sent from Serbia
12 control things in Zvornik."
13 A. No, Vidovic never said that to me. This may have been a slip of
14 the tongue, but he never said that to me. I believe that Vidovic
15 couldn't have any influence there. Marko Pavlovic in my opinion at the
16 time was a much fatter cat than anybody in Mali Zvornik.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Your Honours, please
18 look at paragraph 44 and you will see which means the OTP uses now. The
19 witness said himself that he signed all this in a hurry. So the witness
20 cannot be focused on a good hundred paragraphs once he's signing,
21 especially bearing in mind that he didn't want to give evidence at all.
22 And now things are being put to him and the witness doesn't know that he
23 signed it. Paragraph 44, please.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, on paragraph 44 you
25 said at the time, I quote:
1 "Vidovic told me that Pavlovic had been sent from Serbia
2 Now, with hindsight you're saying that there was an error, that
3 he never told you this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Vidovic never said that to me
5 and this really is a mistake. Vidovic at the time was small fry compared
6 to Pavlovic.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's 7.00 p.m.
8 have to stop. Mr. Marcussen, I believe that you have 30 minutes left for
9 tomorrow -- 35 minutes, exactly. Mr. Seselj will have two hours
10 tomorrow. I hope there won't be too many objections from both sides, so
11 we can finish tomorrow because I'm sure the witness has other things to
12 do. He must go back to work. So we will finish this witness's testimony
13 tomorrow. We lost some time -- we wasted a lot of time through
14 objections which were totally irrelevant.
15 Witness, we will see you tomorrow at 2.15 p.m. Of course you
16 must not talk to anyone about what is happening at the moment, notably
17 since there are some passages that are in closed session. So please be
18 very careful and say nothing. We don't want a newspaper to publish the
19 entire transcript of what was said in closed session, of course not. I
20 wish you all a pleasant evening and we will resume tomorrow at 2.15.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day of
23 January, 2010, at 7.01 p.m.